The next stop in our journey through The Village of West Greenville is the highly anticipated restaurant: The Anchorage.
If you’ve driven down Pendleton and through The Village of West Greenville within the last couple months, The Anchorage is the building with the beautiful mural on the main drag. According to owner and founder Greg Mcphee, it was “originally the worst looking building on the strip, but it had a lot of character to it.”
“We looked for a location to open our restaurant in about every neighborhood in Greenville. Initially, we were convinced that the village was not the location we were looking for.”
Greg quickly realized, though, that you can’t replicate the charm that the village has.
The main strip has free parking and is not over-saturated by directly competing with next-door neighbors. There are still people who say they would never go to the west side of Greenville. But these people have yet to see the charm and character behind the Village.
There is nowhere else in Greenville like it. “It feels like parts of Charleston to me,” he said. “We bit the bullet, decided to give it a shot. It’s where the name came from. We are anchoring ourselves in Greenville. It became a natural decision.”
The Anchorage is a neighborhood restaurant driven entirely by the clientele. “We want to be able to service our peers once or twice a week and not blow their bank account. We aim to use as many local farms as we can, and this translates to our beverage program. We will carry only local brewers and venders. We want to have them on constant rotation. We’re currently partners with the owners of Community Tap.”
“We’re aiming to be incredibly approachable. Folks will be able to drop in and have a happy hour cocktail, get some inexpensive bar snacks non-reliant on the kitchen, and head home. Or you can come and enjoy a full meal.”
Greg is reversing the expectation of getting eight ounces of meat and four ounces of vegetables, it’s the opposite. They’re focusing on flavor driven food verses the typical usage of lard and fat, such as using olive oils and being vegetable forward.
“You’ll be able to eat more and not feel gross. We want to be accommodating to the more active lifestyle of Greenville. We don’t have a deep fryer, but rather a custom built Argentinian wood burning grill.
The restaurant is designed entirely around the bar, with the cocktail program being a big driver. Greg will feature seven different signature cocktails. They’ll have their own clear ice cut right in the restaurant. The bar will have an independent dishwasher for cocktail and wine glasses, eliminating the possibility of food residue and flavor. The bar top is a dazzling white quartz countertop.
He chose to utilize the talents of the artists in the neighborhood to stylize the restaurant from top to bottom. The tables, light-fixtures, mugs, glasses, outside mural, and all of the artwork were created by artists from the neighborhood.
“I’ve had the desire for years,” Greg told me, “of opening a restaurant like this.” Having been a chef at Hotel Domestic 17, an exec at High Cotton, the Terra in West Columbia, and The Lodge, he has an incredible amount of experience. He is more than qualified to be opening his first personally owned restaurant. “It’s been valuable for me to have worked my way up from the bottom to open a restaurant. It provides me with the ability to delegate, have a connection, and share the expectation with our employees.”
The Anchorage will have a Sunday brunch and be open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday. “We won’t be doing lunch as of right now,” Greg said, “it is served at GB&D right now, and it’s awesome. We don’t want to compete with them anyways. Everyone here wants to work together and help each other grow.”
The Village of West Greenville is part of Greenville, but it feels like something entirely different. It is their own neighborhood. A city within a city. “The fact that we are connected to downtown helps,” Greg said. “If you wanted to see a little bit more of Greenville, we are only a three dollar Über ride from downtown. It’s actually easier to get to The Village from Augusta Rd than to get downtown.” When Greg joined the business association of the Village, he watched it grow from six members to forty six in a matter of three weeks.
“We could very easily have a reservation system,” he continued, “but to protect the people living in the neighborhood we are electing to not. We want there to be equal opportunity. This services the people who work and live in the neighborhood, it forces people to walk to the streets, look at the art galleries, and see the influx of business in the Village.”
The Anchorage is now open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 - 9:30 and Friday - Saturday from 5 - 10:00.